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The Kite Runner

Critical Analysis

In the 70's in Afghanistan, the Pushtun boy Amir and the Hazara boy Hassan, who is his loyal friend and son of their Hazara
servant Ali, are raised together in Amir's father house, playing and kiting on the streets of a peaceful Kabul. Amir feels that his
wise and good father Baba blames him for the death of his mother in the delivery, and also that his father loves and prefers
Hassan to him. In return, Amir feels a great respect for his father's best friend Rahim Khan, who supports his intention to become
a writer. After Amir winning a competition of kiting, Hassan runs to bring a kite to Amir, but he is beaten and raped by the brutal
Assef in an empty street to protect Amir's kite; the coward Amir witness the assault but does not help the loyal Hassam. On the
day after his birthday party, Amir hides his new watch in Hassam's bed to frame the boy as a thief and force his father to fire Ali,
releasing his conscience from recalling his cowardice and betrayal. In 1979, the Russians invade Afghanistan and Baba and Amir
escape to Pakistan. In 1988, they have a simple life in Fremont, California, when Amir graduates in a public college for the pride
and joy of Baba. Later Amir meets his countrywoman Soraya and they get married. In 2000, after the death of Baba, Amir is a
famous novelist and receives a phone call from the terminal Rahim Khan, who discloses secrets about his family, forcing Amir to
return to Peshawar, in Pakistan, in a journey of redemption.

Socio Political Aspects:

The movements of history are constantly interfering with the private lives of characters in The Kite Runner. The Soviet War in
Afghanistan interrupts Amir’s peaceful, privileged life and forces him and Baba to flee to America. After the fall of the USSR,
Afghanistan continues to be ravaged by violence, and when Amir does finally return to find Sohrab, the Taliban regime rules the
country with violent religious laws. It is the Taliban that give Assef an outlet for his sadistic tendencies, and it is this political
state that facilitates Amir’s final meeting with Assef and his redemptive beating.
Hosseini also critiques the sexism and racism of Afghan society throughout the book. Ali and Hassan are Hazaras, an ethnic
group that most Afghans (who are Pashtun) consider inferior, though Hosseini makes it clear that Hassan is Amir’s equal and in
many ways morally and intellectually superior. When Amir starts courting Soraya, both Hosseini and Soraya comment on the
double standard that Afghan society holds for women and men. Men are forgiven for being promiscuous or flirting, but women
will be shamed and gossiped about for life.
The Kite Runner is being marketed as not just the first novel by its author, Khaled Hosseini, a medical doctor, but the first novel
of its kind: an Afghan novel written in English. That, however, is the least of the achievements of this accomplished if not quite
flawless debut work which has been hailed as “a haunting morality tale” and “a stirring tale of loyalty and betrayal.” Despite
being occasionally melodramatic and overly symmetrical, The Kite Runner is a modestly told, quietly ambitious, story of its
narrator- protagonist’s journey from his rather comfortable life in Kabul in the 1970’s to his and his father’s fleeing the country
in 1981 and beginning life anew as struggling immigrants in Fremont, California, and, following marriage and the publication of
his own first novel, his fateful return to Taliban-run Afghanistan in 2001, where he will atone for a past wrong.

Major Characteristic of the age;

 In The Kite Runner, Amir is the protagonist. His introverted and bookish nature undermines his father’s wishes for him. Amir
struggles to win his father’s love and feels jealous of Hassan’s connection to Baba. Amir’s betrayal of his childhood friend leads
him to return to Afghanistan.

 Baba is a respected member of the Afghan community. He is disappointed that Amir is not strong and decisive, though he
eventually accepts his son.

 Hassan is a young servant at Baba’s house who is intelligent despite his lack of education. He is fiercely loyal to Amir despite
Amir’s betrayal.
 Assef is an older bully with fascistic beliefs who rapes Hassan and eventually becomes a high-ranking official in the Taliban.

 Soraya is the wife of Amir. Her rebellious attitude and scandalous past alienate her from the community but she remains devoted
to caring for her husband and father-in-law.


 In The Kite Runner, Amir seeks to forge his identity following his failure to protect his friend. He sets out on a spiritual quest to
uncover his family’s past.

 Family ties define the characters in this novel. Baba and General Taheri expect obedience and loyalty from their children while
Amir and Soraya try to create a family of their own.

 The importance of heritage is reflected in Amir’s connection to the immigrant community in San Francisco. Amir eventually
returns to Afghanistan and revives his belief in Islam.

 Amir and Baba represent different experiences of assimilation. While Baba struggles to adjust to his lowly social status in the
United States, Amir sees his new country as a source of potential.

 Discrimination and abuse of power are apparent in the violence and social unrest caused by the Taliban. The Kite
Runner portrays the discrimination and abuse created by those in power.

My Opinion on his or her work:

The Kite Runner was beautiful, poignant and very moving. I particularly loved the two child actors in the film as well as the actor
portraying the father. It really made me wants to go back and read the book again. The film as metaphor is a success in showing
the dismal past of a struggling country and its hopeful future. The Kite Runner is a story that will make you feel as if everything
you have, everything that you take for granted is a luxury. For many people in different parts of the world, these are dreams. And
it actually is.

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